Hemp Planting Almost Underway

Hemp growers and researchers are preparing to plant hemp in the next two to three weeks across the state. Planting will likely continue until the end of June depending on what type of hemp is being grown. We may even see early July plantings again for cannabinoid (CBD, CBG) producers.

The multi-year Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative project is underway for this year. This project is multi-disciplinary and involves faculty in Botany and Plant Pathology, Agronomy, Entomology, and Agricultural Economics. One part of the project assesses hemp in three different rotational models. To begin this project, Meigs and SWPAC planted vetch. At Meigs, we will till the vetch today and plant hemp seed in the next two weeks. At SWPAC, we will till the vetch in the next week and plant hemp seed in the next three weeks. I am looking forward to sharing more about this project in the coming months (and years). There are several other hemp projects at Meigs and other PACs this year, as well as a lot of on-farm research. I will have no shortage of information to share!

In other news, I found flea beetles on feral hemp in Jasper County, IN (Figure 1). Growers may see some flea beetle feeding on seedlings, but it is unclear how extensive damage could be. Flea beetles are common in hemp, but last year growers did not call me about damage until mid-July. At this point, their plants could take a hit from leaf chewers. I found a lot of Red-headed flea beetles in the middle of summer last year. I am unsure of the species in figure 1, but I am hoping to catch some next time I am in one of the feral hemp patches.

Lastly, there are more opportunities for webinar-based education, with a new webinar series organized by Simon Kafari in Clark County. This webinar series runs on Tuesdays from 11 am-12 pm and interested parties can sign up by calling the Clark County Extension Office (812-256-4591) or can email Simon Kafari (skafari@purdue.edu). I hope people are able to tune in and listen to some top-notch speakers.


Figure 1. Flea beetles feeding on feral hemp in Jasper County, taken 5/1/2020.

Figure 1. Flea beetles feeding on feral hemp in Jasper County, taken 5/1/2020.

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